CFP: Religion in Civil Society: Lessons from Policies Past and Present.

The 10tAnnual Patuxent Defense Forum will be held at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s City, Maryland on April 22, 2015. The Center for the Study of Democracy and The Patuxent Partnership jointly present this forum. The forum includes a mix of international representatives, policymakers, academics, government officials, and other interested parties, providing a unique environment for discussing critical issues related to international affairs.

We are soliciting paper proposals for our 2015 topic Religion in Civil Society: Lessons from Policies Past and Present.

Recent developments around the world underscore the importance of addressing religious diversity and developing policies that support civil society. Whether it is discord between Sunni and Shia in the Middle East, Christians  and  Muslims  in  Africa,  Asia  and  the  Middle  East,  or  Palestinian,  Jewish  and  other  religious extremists in more secular Western states, this forum will help us better understand the history of these tensions, the impact of U.S. foreign policy approaches to religious diversity and the ethics of taking action when these tensions flare.

Discussion of these issues is particularly fitting at St. Mary’s City, the site of Maryland’s first capital, settled by Catholics. Considering this legacy, the forum will contemplate precedents and current policies.

Proposed Conference Topics:

1)   How have past policies shaped religious tensions today in specific nations?

2)   What is the role of religious plurality in modern democracy?

3)   How and when should Western nations (1) engage, and (2) provide humanitarian assistance to religious groups?

Paper proposals should be emailed to Adrienne Dozier, Program Assistant, Center for the Study of Democracy at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, at  amdozier[at]smcm.edu, and should include a title, institutional affiliation, and short abstract of no more than 150 words. Proposals are due by February 9, 2015. Travel and lodging accommodations will be provided for panelists.

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